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Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology.

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1 Chapter 1 Crime and Criminology

2 What is Criminology? The definition of Criminology is:
The scientific approach to studying criminal behavior Important areas of interest for criminologists Crime as a social phenomenon The process of making laws The breaking of laws and the reaction towards breaking the laws Development of principles

3 Criminology and Criminal Justice
The terms are often interchanged Sometimes the information can overlap There are major differences between them Criminology Explains the origin of crime Explains the extent and nature of crime in society Criminal Justice The study of the agencies of social control Police Courts Corrections

4 Criminology and Deviance
Deviance is defined as: Behavior that departs from the social norm but is not always criminal A Crime is defined as: An act deemed as socially harmful or dangerous that is specifically defined, prohibited, and punished under criminal law

5 A Brief History of Criminology
Emergence of the Classical School During the Middle Ages ( ) people who broke the “rules” or “laws” were looked at as being possessed by the devil By the 1700s social philosophers started to think with reason Bentham and utilitarianism – pain of punishment should exceed the benefit of crime Believed that crime and punishment needed to be more balanced and fair Influence penal practices for more than 200 years

6 Basic Elements of Classical Criminology
People have free will and criminal or lawful solutions to meet needs Criminal solutions can be attractive A person will not commit crime if they believe that the pain expected from the punishment is greater than the promised reward (deterrence) Punishment needs to be severe, certain, and swift to be effective

7 19th Century Positivism New way to look at crime that challenged the validity of the classical school In other areas of study (biology, chemistry, and astronomy) scientists started using the scientific method Careful observation and analysis of natural phenomena

8 Basic Elements of Positivism
All true knowledge is acquired through direct observation Statements that could not be backed up by direct observation are invalid The scientific method must be used if research findings are to be considered valid. Includes steps Identifying problems Collecting data Formatting hypotheses Conducting experiments Interpreting results

9 Biological Positivism
Physiognomists Studied facial features of criminals to determine if the shape of ears, nose, and eyes were associated with antisocial behavior Phrenologists Studied the shape of the skull and bumps on the head to determine whether they were associated with criminal behavior

10 Cesare Lombroso Believed that serious offenders were born criminals
They had an inherited set of primitive physical features that he called atavistic anomalies Considered these individuals genetic throwbacks Specific features: Large jaws and cheekbones Strong canine teeth Others expanded on his works Biological determinism Criminal anthropology Biosocial theory

11 The Chicago School and Beyond
Formed by a group of scientists who looked at crime from a sociological perspective Believed there was a relationship between the environment and crime Neighborhood conditions influence the shape and direction of crime rates Challenged the positivists who argued that crime was a biological or psychological condition

12 Social-Psychological Views
1930s and 1940s Individuals began to link social-psychological interactions to criminal behavior Believe that human interaction and relationships effect crime Group dynamics Relationships to social processes Education, family, peers Socialization

13 Conflict and Crime Developed by Karl Marx (economic and political forces) Believed human behavior is due to conflict between those who have all the power and money (bourgeoisie) They use this power to further their own needs Believed that the working class (proletariat) was exploited and eventually they would lead a revolt and ultimately end a capitalistic society

14 Developmental Criminology
Emerged in the 20th Century Began to look at crime from all angles including sociological, psychological, and economic (multiple forces) Believe that crime is a dynamic process that is influenced by our social experiences and individual characteristics Can look at the life course of a career criminal to determine the issues as to why people begin to commit crime

15 Contemporary Criminology
The various schools of criminology have developed and evolved over the past 200 years Each continues to impact the field of criminology Rational choice theory Deterrence theory Trait theory Social structure theory Social process theory

16 How Criminologists View Crime
Consensus View Believe the law defines crime; Society agrees about what should be outlawed and the law should apply equally to all Deviant behavior causes social harm Conflict View Society is a collection of diverse groups and they are in constant conflict Owners, workers, professionals, students Interactionist View People act according to their own interpretations of reality They observe the way other react They reevaluate and interpret their own behavior according to the meaning they have learned from others

17 Definition of Crime Because of all these views of crime we need a general (integrated) definition of crime; which is: A violation of societal rules of behavior as interpreted and expressed by a criminal legal code created by people holding social and political power Individuals who violate these rule are subject to sanctions by state authority, social stigma, and loss of status

18 Crime and the Criminal Law
Criminal behavior is tied to criminal law Criminal Law has been around for thousands of years Code of Hammurabi First written criminal code developed around 2000 B.C. Based on retribution “An eye for an eye” Mosaic Code Laws of the Old Testament including the Ten Commandments Foundation of Judaism and Christianity Bases for the U.S. legal system

19 Common Law Early English law (around 1100s)
Developed by judges who would travel around and decide what to do for specific crimes Courts were bound by the judges decisions Eventually judges published their decisions in local cases Other judges began to use these written decisions as a basis for future procedure They eventually became precedent and the basis for common law Common law is just the standard law of the land in England which eventually formed the basis of criminal law in the U.S. Mala in se Mala prohibitum

20 Contemporary Criminal Law
All U.S. laws are listed in statutes or Acts Divided into felonies and misdemeanors Government says people who commit these unacceptable acts need to be sanctioned; there are social goals Enforce social control Discourage revenge Express public opinion and morality Deter criminal behavior Punish wrongdoing Maintain social order

21 Evolution of Criminal Law
Criminal law is constantly changing Some acts are being decriminalized while other penalties are increasing Must always reflect social values and contemporary issues/problems Our court system allows for exposure of laws that may need to be changed Trial, appellate, supreme

22 Ethical Issues in Criminology
There are political and social consequences from results of criminological research Need to be aware of ethical issues What to study Cannot let funding dictate what you choose to study Whom to study Should not just focus on poor and minorities How to conduct studies Need to inform subjects of the purpose of research Keep records confidential Selection of research subjects need to be random and unbiased

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